Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to launch Covid-19 alert system

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Boris Johnson is expected to announce the alert system when he addresses the country on Sunday

A Covid-19 alert system is set to be launched by the government in England to track the virus, the prime minister is expected to announce on Sunday.

The system will rank the threat level from coronavirus on a scale of one to five and be adjusted according to data.

Boris Johnson is due to give a televised address updating the nation on the progress of lockdown measures.

He is not expected to provide dates for when the restrictions – first announced on 23 March – might change.

The new system will apply to England only but the government is working with the devolved administrations as they develop their own.

It is understood the system will be similar to the one used to keep the public informed about the terror threat level and Mr Johnson is expected to say England is currently at stage four but moving towards stage three.

The warning tool will also reflect the virus threat in different parts of the country, which could mean the threat level in one city could differ quite widely from another.

A meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee involving the cabinet, devolved nations and the Mayor of London will be held before his televised address on Sunday evening, with the plans to be put before Parliament on Monday.

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Media caption“Public transport cannot go back to where it left off” – Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

On Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the government would proceed with “extreme caution” when lifting lockdown measures.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference he said the move beyond Covid-19 would not be “a single leap to freedom” as he pledged £250m to improve cycling and walking infrastructure across England in the coming weeks.

Mr Shapps also refused to confirm if 14-day quarantines would be introduced for people arriving in the UK, saying he would wait for Mr Johnson to address the nation on Sunday.

Another 346 UK coronavirus deaths were recorded on Saturday, taking the total to 31,587.


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